More Information About Kalispell, Montana
Despite what the travel guidebooks say, getting around Kalispell during the summer is not always much fun. Traffic can be heavy and the roads are not nearly well designed enough to meet traffic demand. Particularly, north of town on Highway 93, the traffic and pokiness of the speed has driven some drivers, including me, to tears. Still, as bad as it can be at times, the traffic in Kalispell still probably seems light to people coming from big cities. And the roads in Kalispell are pretty straight-forward to figure out and marked, so people just passing through shouldn’t get lost too easily – with signs pointing the way to Glacier National Park at almost every major intersection.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Kalispell also has a very nice airport, in the event you don’t feel like making the long drive up to this part of Montana. Glacier Park International Airport is a small but very functional place. Unlike most airports, you’re blood pressure shouldn’t increase off the chart when entering the place. And the small size (only has 3 gates), means it’s easy to get around and makes it impossible to not find your flight. The small size of the airport, though, has one big drawback. Price. If you’re expecting to find cheap, $100 flights in Kalispell from anywhere but perhaps Salt Lake City or Seattle, forget it. Also, direct flights to Kalispell are only possible from Minneapolis, Seattle and Salt Lake City and, on occasion, Denver.
Car rentals in Kalispell are generally in HIGH demand during the summer. So if you want a car, be sure to make an advance reservation. And prices aren’t exactly the cheapest, either. How the car rental companies up here work is that they import cars from places like Seattle, Salt Lake, and other nearby places for the busy summer season (so don’t be surprised if your rental car has an out-state license plate), and then ship them back at the end of the summer. The result – higher prices than many would probably like.
For train lovers, Amtrak has the busiest train station in Montana just up the road in Whitefish. If you have time to spare, taking the train in Whitefish is a great little trip, although the train can be a bit crowded during the summer. When planning a train trip, just remember Jim’s golden rule of train travel – one night spent on the train is just right, two night’s is one night too many.
Visit the Amtrak Site for Train Reservations
Kalispell Real Estate
Once upon a time real estate up in Kalispell and the rest of the Flathead Valley for that matter, was very affordable. Unfortunately, beginning in the early 1990’s, people started discovering this quiet corner of Montana, and so started the building of massive second homes, golf course and all the rest.
Until the Great Recession hit, this trend showed no sign of abating. However, even this out of the way spot in Montana didn’t fully escape the ravages of the property bust. As such, property prices in the Flathead Valley have slightly declined the past few years, although not nearly as much as found elsewhere. Still, although home prices in Kalispell aren’t near the level found in California or New York City, prices are still quite high relative to the low incomes of the Flathead Valley and well above most other locations in Montana.
Kalispell Hotels & Motels
Kalispell has a ton of hotels, motels and such. Many of these hotels are nearly deserted during the off-season (late fall through early spring). These hotels make up for it, though, during the summer as the flood of tourists arrive. If you plan to visit Kalispell during the summer, ALWAYS make a reservation in advance. By not making an advance hotel reservation, you are quite likely to end up sleeping in your vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot (a popular place for RV campers) or spend fruitless hours driving around from hotel to hotel, hoping that they might have an over-priced room available just for you.
Also, don’t be too shell shocked by the prices of hotels and motels in Kalispell (and elsewhere in the Flathead Valley during the summer). While prices won’t be competing with New York City rates anytime soon, you won’t be finding any $30 rooms, either. Expect to pay anywhere from $90-$250, depending on the number of people, weekday/weekend and the type of luxury you prefer.
View all Hotels in Kalispell at Hotels.Com
Overall, Kalispell is a nice town located in a beautiful and quickly growing area of Montana. Kalispell receives a ton of traffic from tourists due to the towns location in the beautiful mountains of Northwest Montana and it’s proximity to Glacier National Park. Services are plentiful and the cost of living, while high by Montana standards, is still relatively low compared to many places out west.
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